Getting to the USA!

…We’re leaving today! We’re gonna be apart of it New York New York!

Our flights were pretty standard on the way there but we did luck out and get a two seat row to ourselves on the long haul! It was great cause it meant we didn’t have to disturb any randoms if we needed to go to the bathroom. One thing I learned though (and I didn’t lean my lesson on the way home either) is that aeroplanes are SO cold. I had to ask for an extra blanket both times and was still freezing my ass off! Here’s a plane selfie because we thought the lighting was awesome…

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We FINALLY landed at JFK and we were just so excited! We waited for the suitcases to come off the conveyor belt and Erica’s suitcase came off first and we waited ages for mine. My name was then called over a loud speaker and I thought oh shit this can’t be good. Apparently my bag was left behind in LA! I was so gutted because it had all our toiletries in it because they couldn’t fit in Erica’s bag and of course ALL my stuff! I only had a very small day bag with me. They said oh it’s fine we will send your bag out to you as it’s on the next flight. We gave them the name of the hotel we going to in New Jersey and hoped it would all be okay in 24 hours. I’m only going to write about this here and not mention it in any further posts because it’s a time I’d rather forget. I’ve kind of repressed the memory to be honest. So let it be known that I’m finding it very hard to write… It wasn’t a happy time and I like to stay positive and not dwell on things that can’t be helped…

…So basically the airline never dropped my bag off at the hotel in New Jersey and this was a problem because the next night we were staying in Washington DC, then Niagara, then Boston. I spent countless hours on the phone with Virgin in the middle of the night trying to organise my bag to be brought to our hotels to no success. It caused me a lot of stress and I lost a LOT of sleep over it. Eventually in Niagara I just decided to let it go and tell them to send it to the hostel in Manhattan that we would be staying in, in a couple of nights time because at least then I knew where it was. It all ended up okay in the end as I got my bag back in Manhattan and could finally change my underwear (I had been wearing the same pair all week and trying to wash and dry them in hotel bathroom sinks). I did have travel insurance so I probably could have got some sort of compensation for the items I had to buy etc but to be honest at that point all I wanted to do was forget about it. I didn’t want to have to deal with it any more than I already had. So I left it. I just let it go and that was the last I thought about it for the entire holiday. Later on I may write a more in depth post about it but for now I’m going to leave it. My advice for this situation is just to breathe. Don’t let it ruin the holiday you’ve been planning for your whole life. Shit happens. That’s life. Just learn from the experience and move on. For example I now ALWAYS carry a spare pair on underwear in my carry on luggage!

ANYWAY…

So we went through the arrival gate and went out to the Yellow Cab taxi stand. We waited in line for our taxi, jumped in and told him our destination. We used the wifi in the taxi to tell Facebook we’d arrived and that I was taking my first ever Yellow cab ride! It was about 1am by this stage so our first glimpse of the NYC skyline was beautifully lit up. I could see the empire state building and I almost started crying! How crazy was this! We were in New York!

We checked into the hostel my Dad had so nicely booked for us called American Dream Hostel in the Flat Iron district. We then went for a walk around the corner to the pharmacy to pick up some toothbrushes and shampoo etc. I tried to get to sleep that night but it was really hard as I was severely jet lagged, not something I had experienced before. I ended up only sleeping for a couple of hours after quite a large panic attack. It was about 3am and I had a small freak out, just about my luggage and I was in a foreign country and to be completely honest with you I was just a bit scared.I was used to traveling with my brother and having to look after him but what I needed to remember was that Erica was a perfectly capable human being and that we were here to have fun together. Erica helped me calm down and fed me some cookies as we realised hunger was probably partly the problem. I’d like to take this moment to thank Erica for being an awesome friend and calming me down/ just letting my cry it out. When I told her I was writing about this in a blog post she said to me “all i can remember about that first night is that weird bunk bed and eating chips ahoy while you had a silent meltdown”.

So there you go. That was my first night in New York. Not so glamorous but it had it’s moments. The next day was also filled with not so glamorous times as we made our way to New Jersey…

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